The federal government has stressed the need for collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, and their sub-national counterparts to ensure sufficient irrigation of farmlands for year-round food security.
Aliyu Shehu, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, made this call during the 30th meeting of the National Technical Committee on Water Resources and Sanitation (NTCWRS) held in Abuja on Monday.
The meeting, titled “People, Planet, and Prosperity: Promoting Water Governance for National Food Security,” aimed to address food inflation and its negative impacts on citizens by emphasizing the importance of water governance.
Shehu also called upon directors of the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to intensify efforts towards ensuring year-round irrigation of crops to address both seasonal surpluses and food shortages.
Referring to the recent declaration by the federal government of a state of emergency on food security to tackle food inflation, Shehu noted that the inclusion of food and water issues in the jurisdiction of the national security council aims to close all loopholes.
He said, “You will recall that the federal government has recently declared a state of emergency on food security to tackle food inflation. The major components of this declaration as it affects the water and sanitation sector include: That all matters pertaining to food and water availability and affordability as essential livelihood items, be included within the purview of the national security council.”
“There is a need for urgent synergy between the federal ministry of agriculture and food security with the federal ministry of water resources and sanitation to ensure adequate irrigation of farmland and to guarantee that food is produced all year round,” he added.